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The Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network Statement on the Mayor’s Housing Plan

For Immediate Release March 28th 2016
Contact: Imani Henry 646-342-9673| info@BANgentrification.org

BAN launches “Whose City? Our City?” Campaign Demanding Elected Community Boards with Veto Power to Ensure Real Accountability to the People.

Press Conference and Community Speak-Out, Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at Brooklyn Borough Hall

As staunch advocates for affordable housing and stopping the rampant displacement of residents in our communities, The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) is deeply outraged at the recent passage of Mayor De Blasio’s ‘affordable housing’ amendment texts – Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and the Zone for Quality Affordability (ZQA).

While the MIH/ZQA amendments promise to create 200,000 “affordable” units, only 20 percent of the so called “affordable” units will be priced at 40 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) in the rezoned neighborhoods, which is about $31,000 per year for a family of three. That is still beyond the reach of many low income families and will not slow the displacement of families citywide. More than a quarter of New York City households make less than $25,000 a year.

BAN, along with other tenant rights and housing advocacy groups citywide, has denounced MIH/ZQA since it was proposed. In fact, 52 out of 59 community boards voted AGAINST these amendments, but the Mayor dismissed their disapproval, noting that the role of Community Boards in such critical decisions is merely advisory.

Community Boards arose in the 1970’s when communities across the city demanded a say in the use of land in their neighborhoods. However, the Mayor’s flippant dismissal of the overwhelming community disapproval of his housing amendments highlights the
need for Community Boards to have a more empowered and meaningful role in Land Use. Because community boards lack this power, thousands of NYC residents now face a disastrous development plan, imposed on us against our will, that will bring even greater displacement to our communities.

This is why BAN is launching our “Whose City? Our City?” Campaign demanding that the City Charter be changed to put true power to influence decisions in the hands of the people. First, Community Boards must be granted real planning and veto power and not just be advisory when it comes to land use plans. Second, Community Board members must be elected by the communities they serve, not appointed by Borough Presidents, to ensure their accountability to the people.

On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, BAN will hold a Press Conference and Community Speak-Out regarding these two demands. We will also announce a recently filed Lawsuit against Community Board 9 in Brooklyn, seeking for the first time in the history of Community Boards, the removal of four Community Board members who have displayed unprofessional and unlawful behavior, while working to support a rezoning on behalf of Borough President Eric Adams and the Real Estate Industry.

Member Organizations of The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) as of March 28, 2016:

  • The 320 Sterling Street Tenants Association
  • The Artist Studio Affordability Project
  • The Audre Lorde Project
  • The Bushwick Cop Watch Team of Peoples’ Justices for Community Control & Police Accountability
  • The Crystal House Project of The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
  • The East Flatbush Cop Watch Team of Peoples’ Justices for Community Control & Police Accountability
  • El Grito de Sunset Park
  • Equality for Flatbush
  • Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE)
  • JACK
  • Movement to Protect The People
  • Northwest Bushwick Community Group
  • Reclaim Bushwick
  • Third Root Community Health Center
  • UPROSE

The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) is a mass-based coalition of tenants, homeowners, block associations, anti-police brutality groups, and legal and grassroots organizations working together to end the rampant gentrification and displacement of low to middle income residents of Brooklyn

To read BAN’s ten point platform see: https://bangentrification.org/about/
March 30th Press Conference Facebook event:
Facebook page: The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network – BAN
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/BANgentrifying
Website: bangentrification.org

About BAN:

The Brooklyn  Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) is a people of color-led, mass-based coalition of tenants, homeowners, block associations, anti-police brutality groups, legal and grassroots organizations working together to end the rampant gentrification and displacement of low to middle income residents of Brooklyn, New York.

Click here to see our full list of demands.

Member Organizations of The Brooklyn  Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN)

The 320 Sterling Street Tenants Association
The Artist Studio Affordability Project
The Audre Lorde Project
The Bushwick Cop Watch Team of Peoples’ Justices for Community Control & Police Accountability
The Crystal House Project of The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
The East Flatbush Cop Watch Team of Peoples’ Justices for Community Control & Police Accountability
El Grito de Sunset Park
Equality for Flatbush
Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE)
JACK
Movement to Protect The People
Northwest Bushwick Community Group
Reclaim Bushwick
Third Root Community Health Center
UPROSE

Ways you can connect with us:

Why we do this work: